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S.Res. 49 (112th): A resolution celebrating Black History Month.

The text of the bill below is as of Feb 14, 2011 (Resolution Agreed to by Senate).


III

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. RES. 49

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 14, 2011

(for herself, Mr. Lugar, Mr. Cochran, Mr. Menendez, Ms. Mikulski, Ms. Snowe, Mr. Kerry, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Nelson of Florida, Ms. Landrieu, Mr. Merkley, Mr. Johnson of South Dakota, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Udall of Colorado, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Franken, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Pryor, Mr. Whitehouse, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Cardin, Mr. Schumer, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Casey, Mr. Begich, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Kirk, Mr. Blumenthal, Mrs. McCaskill, Mrs. Hagan, Mrs. Hutchison, and Mr. Coons) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to

RESOLUTION

Celebrating Black History Month.

Whereas in 1776, the United States of America was imagined, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, as a new Nation dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”;

Whereas on November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, in reference to the Declaration of Independence, stated, “[f]our score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”;

Whereas the history of this Nation includes injustices and the denial of basic, fundamental rights at odds with the words of the Founders of the Nation and the sacrifices commemorated at Gettysburg, and these injustices include nearly 250 years of slavery, 100 years of lynchings, denial of both fundamental human and civil rights, and withholding of the basic rights of citizenship;

Whereas the vestiges of slavery still exist in the systemic inequalities and injustices in our society;

Whereas for every Shirley Chisholm, Dorothy Height, Constance Baker Motley, Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, Lena Horne, James Baldwin, W.E.B. Du Bois, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Jackie Robinson, or Ralph Bunche, each of whom lived a life of incandescent greatness, many African Americans lived, toiled, and died in obscurity, never achieving the recognition they deserved;

Whereas on November 4, 2008, the people of the United States elected an African American man, Barack Obama, as President of the United States, and African-Americans continue to serve our country at the highest levels of our government and military; and

Whereas William H. Hastie, the first African American to be appointed as a Federal judge, stated, [h]istory informs us of past mistakes from which we can learn without repeating them. It also inspires us and gives confidence and hope bred of victories already won: Now, therefore, be it

That the Senate—

(1)

recognizes the importance of Black History Month as an opportunity to reflect on our Nation’s complex history, while remaining hopeful and confident for the path that lies ahead;

(2)

acknowledges the significance of Black History Month as an important opportunity to recognize the tremendous contributions of African Americans to the Nation’s history;

(3)

encourages the celebration of Black History Month to provide a continuing opportunity for all people in the United States to learn from our past and to understand the experiences that have shaped our Nation; and

(4)

calls on citizens to remember that, while this Nation began in division, it must now move forward with purpose, united tirelessly as one Nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, and to honor the contribution of all American pioneers who help ensure the legacy of these great United States.